I never experienced this instinct quite as vividly as the time I boxed in college.

Let me start by saying I’m not senile, I realize I’ve talked about boxing in Fight Night in college before (see Fight Night) but this is a different t-shirt and a different story so just shut up and listen. (See how I worked that aggression, that picking a fight thing in there when the post is about fighting? Pretty clever, huh?) So, since we’ve established that not only am I not suffering from hardening of the arteries and that I, in fact, am pretty smart, let’s move on with this. I’ve never been known as a fighter.

I got into exactly one fight in my life when I was 12 years old with my best friend from Hopewell school, Kelly Moes. I have no idea why we fought and I’m not sure that I even knew then. I think I didn’t have any choice but it’s been 40 years and even someone clearly as sharp as I am forgets some things. Anyway, we fought, or sort of fought. I don’t really remember Kelly hitting me. I think it devolved into a wrestling match pretty quickly and I have to come clean here, I’m sure I ended up pulling his hair. I know, I know, it’s a stereotypical feminine thing to do. All I can say in my defense is I was scared to death and wanted to win the fight. He sort of chided me afterward about it and had every right to do so. Oh and by the way, we remained friends and I still consider him a friend to this day. So, well established, not a fighter, right? Not that I never had a temper or got mad though.

It was on that same schoolyard that I chased Scott Richter into the school just pissed as hell at him (remember quitting anger). I’ve gotten furious and broken things, typically inanimate objects, doors, walls, certain hand tools and my Pocket Fisherman in my youth (there’s a story) so it’s not that I don’t have it in me to fly off the handle. I’ve thumped people but good on the football field and one time, according to my old JV coach (the one in Joe Average) put some guy in the second row with a hip check when I lost my cool. He laughed about that every time he told the story. But to fight, actually raise fists with the express purpose of knocking someone’s block off? Nah, not me, just not me.

So when I trained and fought in Fight Night I had the strangest sensation of doing something against my will that I have ever known. It was stranger than praying in front of a group for the first time, stranger than playing Master of Ceremonies at a talent contest on 2 hours’ notice and even stranger than leading my daughters’ Brownie Troop lesson (I taught them braiding, like they needed lessons!). The fact was, I really didn’t want to slug them (the guys I sparred and fought against, not the Brownies) but I knew I had to. Furthermore, I knew that they were going to hit me and the best way to not get hit I found was to throw more punches and keep them on the defensive. Also, I knew that these were the ground rules and back then I was all about rules. I told myself: ‘if this is the sport and this is how it’s played and I want to win, I have to do this!’ To be honest I can’t remember any other sport where I concentrated so hard on the objective. In all the games I played; football, basketball and baseball; all the track meets I ran in; even stuff I played that was more recreational; golf, volleyball, water and snow skiing, I never was as focused as when I had the gloves on and was circling my opponent.

Did I want to run? You bet your ass I did, but I didn’t. I stuck in there partly because I said I was going to do this and partly because it was a macho thing. I held my ground when all the bells, whistles and alarms were going off in my mind like Clark Griswold right before he jumps into the ice cold pool with Christie Brinkley. It’s not that I’m against fighting. I’ll fight until it’s the end of me to defend my family or a close friend. I’ll fight to protect someone who can’t fight for themselves all day long. I just have a tough time fighting for the fun of it. It’s kind of like going to a horror movie for me. I’m scared of all kinds of crap in this real world, why would I subject myself to getting into a fake world just to have the beejeezus scared out of me? It just doesn’t make sense. I encounter enough battles on a daily basis, both internal and external, why would I go looking for a scrap?

So that’s me, a hair-pulling wuss who hates to fight and always has. Thing is, I’m 2-1 in my fights so I’ve got that going for me. Aaaaannnddd the swagger is back! I hope you’re laughing like I am.

Get a kick out of this? I sure did. You ever been in any fights? What was your first bout and how’d it go? I’d love to hear your story. Leave a comment below if you like.

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